I love Pac-Man and retro game compilations and when you put the 2 together, you get Pac-Man Museum+ so I'm one happy gamer.
Classic arcade games
Pac-Man Museum+ includes 14 games and I figured I'd discuss them in groups. First, we have 3 arcade games that follow the classic Pac-Man formula. Of course, there's the original Pac-Man which is still a great deal of fun to play over 40 years after its debut. You also get 1987's Pac-Mania which is a visually impressive isometric adaptation where Pac-Man can jump over ghosts and the mazes are large and fun to explore. I remember playing it on PC when I was a kid. Another excellent inclusion is Pac-Man Arrangement which is the same version that was featured in the 1996 arcade machine Namco Classic Collection Vol. 2. In my opinion, it's one of the best Pac-Man games with its innovative gimmicks such as dash and jump pads, multi-floored mazes, and a fifth ghost that can combine with the other ghosts. v1d30chumz 3-239-112-140
Other arcade games
We're off to a great start so let's discuss a few arcade classics that play a little differently. Super Pac-Man from 1982 could be considered the first true sequel as it's Pac-Man creator Toru Iwatani's 2nd Pac-Man game. However, collecting keys, unlocking doors, and enlarging Pac-Man with a power-up is very different. I kind of like it, though, as it offers solid arcade gameplay. Its follow-up Pac & Pal uses the same basic formula but it's a much better game. Watching Mil collect items as you chase her down is very cute indeed. Pac-Man even entered the 2D platforming genre with Pac-Land and it's a very odd game, especially with its unconventional controls. Once you adapt to how to play it, you can have a good time but being able to make the excessively lengthy jumps can prove to be frustrating. 😅
Pac-Man Battle Royale
The final arcade game included in Pac-Man Museum+ is the modern Pac-Man Battle Royale which released in 2011. If you've been in an arcade since then, you've probably seen or even played it like I have a few times. Anyway, up to 4 players compete and as you navigate through mazes, you can try to bump other players into ghosts and even eat them when you get a power pellet. It can be a lot of fun to play with others but it's not as enjoyable solo. I'm happy that it's included as it's a great game to add to your multiplayer playlist.
Classic console games
Half of the games in Pac-Man Museum+ are console games so let's look at a couple of classic 16-bit ones first. Pac-Attack is a puzzle game that's essentially a reskin of Cosmo Gang the Puzzle but it's not as colourful or as wacky. In fact, it's quite a generic puzzler all around but it can be fun to play every once in a while. Meanwhile, Pac-In-Time is another 2D platformer where you use collected gadgets to navigate small but elaborate stages with the goal of collecting every pellet. I actually enjoy it as it forces you to think outside the box in order to progress and there are plenty of secrets to discover along the way. Plus, that grappling hook ability is a blast. 😄Pac-Attack Review
Modern console games
Pac-Man Museum+ has a few modern console games, too, which is great. Pac-Man Arrangement debuted for the PSP compilation Namco Museum Battle Collection and has nothing to do with the arcade game of the same name. It's quite an easy game but it is colourful; I just wish it was more challenging. Meanwhile, Pac-Man Championship Edition is one of the best games featured here as it revolutionized the classic formula when it released for Xbox Live Arcade in 2007. Having a time limit as you aim for a high score is exhilarating stuff. Originally a mobile game, Pac-Man 256 by the devs who made Crossy Road is a rather clever take on Pac-Man with its premise inspired by the original's level 256 glitch. It's an okay game and its randomness can be a bit too much but it's cool that it's here anyway.Pac-Man 256 Review
Last but not least, we have 2 games that were made for the Wii compilation Namco Museum Remix and are also featured in the more fleshed out Namco Museum Megamix. Despite what reviewers said about it back in the day, Namco Museum Megamix is a wonderful compilation with a bunch of obscure arcade titles and I highly recommend getting a copy if you don't have it already but I digress.
Pac 'n Roll Remix is an adaptation of the 2005 DS game and even though it has sensitive controls, it's still an entertaining game with 3D platforming gameplay and a jam-packed campaign. Pac Motos is exactly what it sounds like as it puts Pac-Man in Motos while boasting colourful 3D visuals and a nifty stage-based campaign. It's a lot of fun. Pac-Man Museum+ sure has a lot of great games, doesn't it? 😊
Games aside, Pac-Man Museum+ has some very cool extra content with the most substantial being a customizable virtual arcade and game-specific challenges to complete. As you play games and earn coins, you'll end up unlocking a bunch of collectibles such as cosmetic items that you can place around your arcade as well as music tracks that you can listen to at the jukebox. There are also vending and Gashapon machines that you can spend coins at. However, there aren't many in-game options with only the ability to apply a CRT filter and adjust the screen size for some games. Also, despite the Museum part of its title, Pac-Man Museum+ only includes brief notes about each game. I would have loved to see much more such as art galleries, interviews, and the like. I guess the jukebox is pretty cool. 🎵
It took me a while to write this review because I originally played Pac-Man Museum+ on Xbox and for some reason, it has controller lag on that console. I've been waiting for a patch but got impatient so I decided to try this PlayStation 4 version and it thankfully has responsive controls so keep that in mind before taking the plunge. Anyway, I wish more games were included such as Ms. Pac-Man which is a glaring omission as well as the weird point-and-click adventure game Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures which features Pac-Jr. as an exclusive unlockable game. Besides this, there are some odd issues such as how Pac-Mania looks blurry no matter the settings and the fact that if you get a high score then continue, the game may forget what your high score was when it calculates the challenge missions.
As a Pac-Man fan, I love Pac-Man Museum+ as it features a fantastic variety of fun-filled games while also including clever challenges and a virtual arcade that you can decorate however you wish. Now, all we need is a Pac-Man World compilation.
- + Includes a wide variety of excellent Pac-Man games from the past 4 decades
- + Cute customizable virtual arcade
- + Rewarding challenges and unlockables
- - Missing some noteworthy games and could use more in-game options
- - A couple of odd bugs and slight issues
- - Despite its name, it lacks museum content